Monday, August 31, 2009
EPL Review: Arsenal Fail Their First Test, Chelsea Roll on, Spurs and Wenger
The big story of this last weekend in the EPL calender was Manchester United coming from behind against Arsenal to win and Arsene Wenger's subsequent sending off.
The game between the two giants was hailed as the first "classic" of the season, but that description couldn't have been further from the truth.
In essence it was a poor game, for all of Arsenal's possession they created about as much as United, but they did take the lead through a tremendous strike from Arshavin.
The little Russian moving closer to being the heir apparent to Gianfranco Zola.
In the end, karma or the Gods smiled on United, depending on your point of view. Manuel Almunia's rush of blood to his head when he should have stood on his line gave United an avenue back into the game, and the less said about Diaby's mad own goal the better...
To add insult to injury, Arsenal had a goal rightly ruled out for offside. In frustration, Arsene Wenger kicked a bottle of water into orbit and got himself harshly sent off. He then went on to lose all dignity and act like a petulant child by standing on top of United's dugout after he failed to find a seat in the stand.
It brought a bad end to a week that started well after qualification for the group stages to the Champions League.
And as for Eduardo's dive...
Chelsea continued their impressive start to the campaign by showing everyone else how you dispose of the league's weaker teams. A three-goal salvo ended all of Brian Jensen's resistance in the Burnley goal.
Expect one of the bigger guns in the English Premier League to move for Jensen over the coming months. He is Burnley's best player by far, and certain clubs like Arsenal and Manchester United could do worse...
The Pensioners fans breathed a sigh of relief after John Terry signed a new five-year contract worth £150,000 per week. I guess loyalty has no price...
The manager who never loses a match called upon his senior players to show some steel against Bolton, and a certain Stevie G responded by smashing in a late winner for the stuttering title challengers.
Gerrard hasn't started this season as well as many of his fans would have hoped, and it would seem at this early stage that he has the impending civil case for his "boxer-like speed" in a nightclub on his mind...
Spurs also continued their good start to the league by beating Birmingham 2-1 at White Hart Lane thanks to a 95th minute winner from Aaron Lennon, but the victory came at a cost as Luka Modric was lost for six weeks with a broken leg while both Defoe and King limped off with muscle strains. The international break coming at just the right time for Harry Redknapp...
Another team to claim a last minute winner were Everton, who got their campaign up and running with a 2-1 win over Wigan.
Aston Villa disposed of Fulham, who look a shadow of themselves from last year, but they will pick up a lot of points in Craven Cottage.
Robert Huth and Sanli Tuncay made their first appearances in a Stoke jersey as the Tony Pulis revolution gained momentum with a 1-0 win over Sunderland. The Potters are always difficult to beat and are even more so now after signing Middlesbrough's star players. They will be safe this year.
The first relegation six pointer of the season took place at Molineaux as Hull drew 1-1 with Wolves. Mick McCarthy has lost the vast majority of his games as a Premiership manager. Does that make him the worst ever?...
Blackburn, blah blah, 0-0 blah, blah West Ham.
After all the hullabaloo about Manchester City's strike force, it is their defence that has seen them off to a perfect start. They won their third game in a row 1-0 thanks namely to Adebayor's goals and Shay Given's gloves. The Lifford man taking his place as the leagues best keeper at the moment.
10 Statements after GameDay 4:
1) Arsenal had their first real test and failed.
2) Arsenal have no players who refuse to accept defeat, and the ones they do have accept it and all the excuses that go with it all too easily. They won't win the league until they fix this.
3) Manchester United do not have the players to win the league. Fergie will have to sign a striker and a midfielder if he wants to retain his title.
4) Does Fergie trust Berbatov?
5) Now that Hull have lost Turner, I worry about them...
6) Spurs are being opened too easily up by the likes of Birmingham, they won't challenge for the top four until that is fixed.
7) Man City play nice stuff, and under normal circumstances would probably be everyone's favourite second team.
8) Transfer windows are great for the big teams...
9) Bolton could struggle...
10) The international break could make or break some teams' seasons. One injury could end Liverpool's and United's challenge.
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